More industrial estates in the South West are expected to push for BID status after the announcement of Cornwall's first Commercial Business Improvement District in Truro. Business owners based in Newham, on the outskirts of Truro, voted in favour of the area becoming Cornwall's first industrial BID site. BID status works by taking a levy from businesses, over and above rates, to fund enhanced maintenance, marketing and physical improvements to a given area.
Newham's BID is expected to generate more than £420,000 in additional funding over the next 5 years to deliver services beyond traditional council funding, from new signage and marketing initiatives, to additional street cleaning and environmental improvements.
At Miller Commercial we have clients who are both landlords and tenants at Newham. Our Senior Management Surveyor, Giles Horne, says "some people will wonder why an area like Newham needs additional funding to stay safe and well maintained. It seems sensible to me to ensure the business space in Newham remains competitive with other out-of-town Business Parks in the Truro area and the extra funds will provide a much-needed measure to counteract public spending cuts.
I predict that as companies begin to see the benefits at Newham, word will spread and firms based in other business areas such as Threemilestone Industrial Estate and Treleigh Industrial Estate near Redruth, will be hot on their heels applying to become Commercial Business Improvement Districts".
While Newham is Cornwall's first out-of town Commercial BID site, industrial estates in other parts of the UK have been benefitting from BID status for years. At Cowpen Industrial Estate in Cleveland, BID funding has been used to provide new signage, landscaping and 24 hour CCTV. At a re-ballot last March businesses on the estate voted to continue with the levy for another 5 years.
Mark Ross is the Association of Town and City Management's (ATCM) BID Programme Manager. He advises and supports existing BIDs in ATCM membership throughout the UK.
He says "there are currently 33 industrial type BID areas in the UK and we know the BIDs are working because our figures show when members of BID schemes are re-balloted over 80% vote to continue and I would expect to see that number considerably increasing over the next few years.
In these tough economic times paying an extra levy on existing business rates is not a decision any business would take lightly. But these companies are seeing savings of thousands of pounds for an average annual investment of £500".
For more information contact Giles Horne on 01872 247010